Saturday, November 28, 2015

Tabor Commons mural

The next mural on our tour is the Tabor Commons mural on a small community center building at SE 57th & Division. This one has a brief RACC description:

The SE Uplift Neighborhood Association mural combines large color fields with imagery relating to gardens and nature in the surrounding community. Contemporary folk art is referenced through thematic content, asymmetrical shapes, and color arrangements that create a lively sense of rhythm, friendliness, and light.

The building his home to Cafe au Play, which describes itself as "a nonprofit coffeehouse and community center with play areas for children and activities for children, caregivers, and the community". Their history page explains that the building was originally a gas station, and was home to a used car dealership, a convenience store, and then a coffee shop / deli. In 2003 the deli was seized by the feds; apparently the owner was making a little extra money on the side selling bulk Sudafed to meth labs. (I'm generally skeptical about federal drug wars and asset forfeiture, but that's a whole other subject.) In any case, eventually the local neighborhood association bought the "blighted" building, and they landed an RACC mural grant to help with the building's transformation. The mural here was created by Laura Bender & John Early, who also did the very large Tapestry mural at the Barbur Transit Center in SW Portland.

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